Fear has taken over my life. It’s there all the time every minute of the day.
I’m not sure when this started, it seems to have just grown out of nowhere. I mean everyone is afraid of different things all along their lives. Arachnophobia, the future, getting hurt physically or emotionally, losing a job, speaking in public and that’s perfectly normal. What’s not normal is when it stops you functioning properly.
It’s taken me a while to understand that it’s not just apprehension. There is some of that of course but not only.
This fear just falls short of paralysing and has taken on a life of its own that does its best to consume me every chance it gets. This happens for every single thing that doesn’t go absolutely smoothly and that involves anyone other than just me. That does make it an issue doesn’t it!
For the most part the worst parts of my life happened because someone inflicted themselves on me. I’m not perfect, I’m not blameless, on the contrary but I tend towards the other side where all the misery around me is somehow my fault. That is how I was brought up. Nothing was good enough. One sentence my father told me stays with me. It’s on repeat. Over and over again in my mind, so real it’s like I’ve teleported back to that moment: “I regret making you. You ruined my life”. So sometimes the misery around me is just because I am alive. I don’t actually have to do anything particular.
But that’s for another post later on.
Back to fear…
When there’s a hiccup everything goes into overdrive. My brain and body are focused only on protecting me from what they perceive to be an attack. This fight or flight instinct kicks in at inopportune moments. It isn’t necessarily that someone is deliberately trying to harm me but my mind and body don’t understand that in the moment. They both just react and an overpowering panic sets in telling me that I cannot deal with this and should hide. I’m terrified that this hiccup will hurt me (psychologically). I fear it’ll bring death. Not by the hand of the person facing me but by my own, because I feel so close to drowning, I can’t handle yet another drama and I’m scared how far down that spiral will take me. I’ve seen the end of it and I know it hurts to be there. Either I make it stop or I work my way back up it.
The question is: what, in fact, is harming me? The event itself or my reaction?
Either way my survival depends on refusing to be taken advantage of and hanging onto the idea that I am not insane. Unfortunately I most certainly come across as a lunatic in those moments.
Being insane, delusional terrifies me. I have serious doubts about my state of mind. I’m told I’m not but it’s hard to believe anything anyone tells me.
My reality is in question and these doubts are the result of gaslighting. My gaslighter being my father. Funnily enough I never doubted my sanity while I was under his influence. I believed what I believed and argued and fought for it. I resisted. This has only become an issue after I freed myself from him. I severed all contact with almost my entire family.
Perhaps I worry about this because I am allowed to now. The pressure has dropped and all this emotional gunk has come crashing down like a horrible tsunami.
I filed a formal complaint for abuse against another memeber of my family. My father said I made it all up. I know I didn’t but he still tried to play me.
I got ripped off by a big multinational. I know it’s not my fault, there are many others in the same situation with the same company. I am in contact with them so unless I’m making up these people I know it’s real.
I had an issue with my accountant. What I have been claiming was confirmed by my partner but I know I provoked some of that ill feeling by overreacting. What happened there touched on all my sore points.
I loved someone who loved me back, then from one day to the next he backtracked and stopped loving me. The change was so quick, unexpected and extreme that I still question myself. Did I see things between us that were not there? I know he lied to me but where exactly is the lie?
My biggest fears are not being believed when truth and honesty, even if it’s ugly, is possibly the most important to me.
Rejection, whatever the reason and regardless of how minor or important, crushes me completely. I have a hard time with relationships taking a hairpin turn. It doesn’t matter if it’s someone important or if it’s some person I work with from a distance; when suddenly things turn from great to “yeah there’s an issue here” I get lost in pain and panic.
I spend most of my time shifting between anger (against the other person and against myself for having been such an idiot) and despair and wondering to what extent I am actually crazy.
I genuinely don’t have a proper answer to whether I am sane or not, my head and heart disagree on this but I’m working on it.
I’m told to let it go either to detach myself or to just let the emotion flood over me no holds barred just to exorcise it but I can’t because I will drown.
What would really happen if I did drown, would it be like falling through an illusion and realising it’s actually fine, or would I stop breathing? I don’t know and I’m too scared to find out.